Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sicilian Defence Classical 6.Bb5

Do you like the move 6.Bb5 for White?  In the classical open Sicilian Defence White plays 3.d4. Black plays 2...d6 and 5...Nc6 in either one order or the other. After 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.Nxc6 bxc6, Black prepared for the counter thrust ...d6-d5. This works well with pawns on e6 and c6.

Then, Ray Haines boldly played 12...e5. This fought for d4 and f4 but weakened d5. The big idea of this game is a Black pawn sacrifice with 17...d5?! In theory the pawn advance to d5 is a logical strategy, but here Black was just a pawn down.

The logical move 6.Bb5 used to be rare. However, strong chess engines consider it to be about as good as anything else. It looks like a waste of time. The move 6.Bb5 forces Black to improve his position and defend c6. If later the bishop is chased away, then White has lost a tempo.

After he gave up a pawn, Ray Haines did well to survive. He worked the position into a drawn rook and pawn endgame.

Guest717339657 - Haines, chess24, 17.02.2016 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 [8.Bc4 is more common.] 8...e6 9.0-0 Rb8 10.b3 Be7 11.Bb2 0-0 12.f3 e5 13.Ne2 Be6 14.c4 Qb6+ 15.Kh1 Rfd8 16.Nc3 Bf8 [Black could activate his kingside pieces with 16...Nh5=] 17.Qe1 d5?!  [This is a risky sacrifice. 17...Nh5=] 18.cxd5 [18.Na4! seems to win a pawn, or more in the case of 18...Qc7? 19.exd5 cxd5 20.Bxe5 Bd6 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.cxd5 Bxd5 23.Qh4+-] 18...cxd5 19.Nxd5 [19.Na4 Qd6 20.exd5 Qxd5 21.Bc4 Qd7 22.Bxe6 Qxe6 23.Qxe5+/=] 19...Nxd5 20.exd5 Bxd5 21.Bxe5 Re8? [21...Rbc8 22.Rd1+/=] 22.f4?! [22.Qh4! g6 23.Bxb8+-] 22...Rbd8 23.Qf2 Qxf2 24.Rxf2 Bxg2+ 25.Rxg2 Rxd3 26.Bb2 Re4 27.f5 Rde3 28.Rgg1 Re2 29.Bc3 [29.Bxg7=] 29...Rc2 [29...Rf4=/+] 30.Bxg7 Bxg7 31.f6 Ree2?! [31...Rh4=] 32.Rxg7+ Kf8 33.Rxh7 Kg8 [33...Ke8 34.Rd1+/=] 34.Rg7+ [34.Rh5+/-] 34...Kh8 35.Rd1 Rxh2+ 36.Kg1 Rhd2 37.Re1 Re2 38.Rd1 Red2 39.Re1 Re2 40.Rd1?! [This leads to a draw. Black would have a harder time after 40.Rxe2 Rxe2 41.a4+/-] 40...Red2 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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